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Ballet Talk for Dancers

San Francisco Ballet School

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  • 2 weeks later...
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  • mirabray


  • lemlemish


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  • dancemaven


Imo, she should not have more than one year of pre-ballet at SFB. I did two years at a smaller studio before I auditioned for Level I. I think at under 8 years old it's more a matter of what is reasonable for you to afford or travel to than caliber of training.

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  • 6 months later...

I'm curious what a typical schedule is for a 13-year-old girl at SFB.  Not sure what level that would correspond to, but just trying to get a sense of the times of day, types of classes, number of hours danced, etc.


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Balletmomx2 - It really depends on the level.

I think the lowest level you would have a 13 year old is level 3. In level 3 you can expect class three days a week - technique class is1.5 hrs plus once a week they get 1.5 hrs of pantomime.

Level 4 is similar to level 3 except they also have music class, and tech classes are 4 days a week .

The highest level you would expect a 13 year old is probably level 5. At that level, they have 1.5 - 1.75 hrs of technique per class day plus character once a week, music once a week, conditioning once a week, contemporary once a week, and separate pointe class once a week. 

It is very rare to see a 13 year old in level 6 these days, but their schedule is similar to level 5 with an extra day of classes and pas instead of character. 

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Thanks, lemlemish!  It's nice to know what the schedules might look like.

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  • 6 months later...

Lemlemish (and others),

Would the classes for levels 3-6 all be in the after-school hours? 

I'm trying to get a feel for at what level SFB students would no longer go to a traditional school.  And for those SFB students that don't go to a traditional school, are online schools the only option, or is there a brick and mortar flexible school option?

Thank you in advance for your input!

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Wyn, I received the schedule from SFB (DS almost went this year), and level 7 and 8 definitely cannot do normal school.  Class starts like at 9 or 10 am.  DS was placed in level 6 which was class pretty much M-F  plus Saturday.  I would have had to get him there by 4 pm, which would have required us to modify his school schedule a little so he'd be out maybe one period earlier.

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Most kids in levels 3-6 do go to traditional schools. If they live a little further out, they may have to leave school a little earlier as nynydancer noted above. There are no schools affiliated with SFB, but in addition to online programs, there is one public brick and motor school in SF called Independence High School which may be able to work with your dancer. You can search them online to get details. There are no other real brick and motor schools that can work with the upper levels after 6.

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My dd will be applying for Year around training this year so I’m starting to research how I can make this happen. She’ll turn 16 over the summer and I don’t want her to live alone (not applying for Jackson house) I want to relocate with her for the first year. How do other families manage? Is there affordable apartments near Sfb? Is there a list of other families wanting to share an apartment? 

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Depending on where you will be coming from, the words “affordable” and “apartments” may be an oxymoron.  Even your definition of “apartment” may need adjusting. :lol:  (DD lived there for 7-8 years.  The prices were high to us when she got there and are waaaaayy higher now.)

Good luck and happy hunting. :flowers:

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as someone who is going through this right now, can I suggest that you look at the Monroe? I think it is mentioned on some threads. 

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balletmomx2 -

My dd(13) a 8th grader got in last year into level 4.   From what I can tell the majority of the 13 yr olds are in level 4.  There are a couple in level 5 and one 8th grader in level 6 but she may already be 14.  The reason we know of her is because she is in 8th grade and most 8th graders have to apply into high school in SF even the public school kids. It's quite the excrutiating process.  All the kids in her class are still in brick & mortar schools.  Level 4 is after-school 5 days a week with no classes on Thursdays and morning class on Saturday instead.  Level 5 is 6 days a week.  (Correction Level 5 is still 5 days a week with more hours than Level 4.  Level 6 is 6 days a week)


Wyn -

Level 7 and 8 is when classes start in the morning so "regular" school will be hard.   Up until level 6 it's still a "after-school" program.  

All public schools in SF is based on a lottery system.  You have to be placed into a school through luck of a draw....no kidding!    However, Independence High is one possible option to alternative schooling (and no lottery) and very convenient given their flexible schedules.  I'm not sure what your child's goals are academically, but if she has any aspirations academically at all she may not find Independence High challenging enough.   Most kids graduate into community college level schools.  But then if that's not a concern for your child then it might be the perfect alternative.

My dd and 3 other SFB girls this year auditioned and just got accepted into Ruth Asawa SOTA (School of the Arts).  This is a public art school where all kids have to audition in to and there is a dance department which focus more on contemporary.   There are already a handful of kids that go there in the upper levels.  Of course by the time you reach level 7, your child will have to find an alternative and different kids have done different things.  But in the mean time the academics are solid there....and kids consistently graduate into good school (the average kid graduate into a UC school) whether in dance or otherwise.  I'm not sure what the protocol is for transfers in other grade but call SFUSD for more information.  If you have a 8th grader then there is a second audition in March.

If you are planning on sending your child to brick & mortar school here...do your research!!  Check out the SFUSD website for high schools and GreatSchools.com for the ratings.  High school vary here as in all urban cities.  Some schools are great but some can be scary too!


Cbenjj -

I will second dancemaven's comment about "affordable" as an oxymoron!!  Sorry to scare you but its our reality.  Unless you are use to paying rent in Manhanttan you will have sticker shock in SF.   Not sure if you have been to SFB but it's in one of the most hip and happening neighborhoods in the city.  It has really expensive luxury condo among a neighborhood of very old low income housing.   "Affordable" will probably mean Oakland or Daly City and even that may be expensive depending on where you are from.  Luckily you can Bart (Bay Area Transit) in from both areas and SFB is 10 minutes from a Bart Station.   I don't envy your challenge for house hunting in SF....but I wish you the best of luck!

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And Oakland is also quickly becoming very expensive and difficult.  DD spent her last three years in the Bay Area there and almost had to leave because she couldn’t find housing.  Those being forced out of the City due to housing costs have pretty much saturated the Oakland housing now.  Folks are being pushed farther and farther out.  Mind your BART, bus, and CalTrain stations and schedules and you can increase options of where to look.

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Thank you all for your responses. It looks like it will be next to impossible for me to relocate up north, I live in Southern California. I wonder if there are families that share or rotate supervision in an apartment setting for a group of girls? That might be the only way. 

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